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Flat front label of wine

Bradford Mountain Zinfandel 1999

Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    0% ABV
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    Winemaker Notes

    The 1999 Grist Zinfandel is a wine designed to showcase the charmingly wild and wildly charming flavors of this 25-year-old vineyard, much of which is planted to Zinfandel. While the name "Grist" might lead you to think of a BIG, gnarly, barely-tamed-beast-of-a-wine . . . .it's not.

    The Grist Vineyard on Bradford Mountain is not about big alcohol or gnarly tannins. Rather, those who follow this Bradford Mountain fruit seek its elegant, sassy, sensational personality, full of brambly blackberry, licorice, and spicy peppercorn flavors.

    Juicy and tender, lithe yet muscular, full of wit and charm and vim and vigor: perfect. 1050 cases produced.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Bradford Mountain

    Bradford Mountain

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    Bradford Mountain, Napa Valley, California
    Bradford Mountain Winery was born out of owner George Hambrecht’s belief that there was something beguilingly distinct about the fruit from his family’s Bradford Mountain vineyards. Planted on a mountain plateau 1000 feet above the Dry Creek Valley floor, the vines produce a low-yielding crop of intensely-flavored grapes with an irresistible wild, brambly flair. Once sold to some of California’s most celebrated wineries, they deserved to be bottled independently, and given the opportunity to tell the story of this unusual and remarkable terroir.

    Napa Valley

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    One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960's, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.

    The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

    Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those is the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

    Zinfandel

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    Unapologetically powerful, heady, and fruit-forward, Zinfandel is often thought of as a truly Californian grape, though in fact it is anything but. This variety has followed an intriguing trajectory to reach its adoptive home, beginning, surprisingly, in Croatia. Originally known as Tribidrag, it first made its way to southern Italy where it became known as Primitivo. From there it eventually migrated to what is now unarguably its most successful outpost, in California, and has thrived throughout the state. Of course, this is also the grape of White Zinfandel, a sweet pink wine that enjoyed great popularity in the 1980s and 90s. Though White Zin still has a significant following, today the variety is increasingly associated with the red version.

    In the Glass

    Zinfandel commonly features a bold, plush texture and notes of dark plum, blackberry, sweet spice, black pepper, dark chocolate, leather, and licorice, and can often be described as “jammy” and a little bit sweet. Very ripe examples may express a hint of dried fruit like raisin, fig, or prune. Despite its significant alcohol and weight, Zinfandel has very smooth, gentle tannins.

    Perfect Pairings

    Zinfandel is a powerfully flavored wine, mingling happily with bold food like brisket, lamb shanks, pork ribs, or anything barbecued. If care is taken with regards to alcohol levels, Zinfandel’s hint of sweetness can work well with milder Indian-spiced dishes like lamb curry.

    Sommelier Secret

    Thanks to its popularity both for home winemaking and as communion wine, many Zinfandel vines were able to survive prohibition, leading to the abundance of "old vine" Zinfandels. These low-yielding vines tend to produce wine that is concentrated, complex, and elegant.

    CGM05726_1999 Item# 55143